In Defense of Budget Analysis

A nerd skirmish has broken out over the budgetary impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Normally, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is the gold-standard for budget estimates. In 2012, CBO estimated that the ACA would reduce the deficit over ten years. Underpinning that estimate are a host of other estimates related to the economy as a whole, specific sectors of the economy, the behavior of individuals and other actors; all projected over the next decade. Suffice to say, this projection is subject to uncertainty.

Delays, Mistakes, and Violations: A Review of OMB’s Information Collection Budgets

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released a combo pack of (supposedly annual) reports on the government’s overall regulatory paperwork burden. A review of the reports reveals an 828 million hour paperwork mistake, 13 ACA-related requirements in violation of the Paperwork Reduction Act, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as the worst offender in the government.

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